Gizsmith shakes his head seeing Aedon handing a small child more money than the boy's father has probably ever seen at one time.
He casts Prestidigitation, causing himself to sneeze out a cloud of rose petals.
With a smile and a wink at the child, he turns his horse and trots off into to town.
|Kari of the Wylds|
Kari, scouting ahead, arrived at the gates well in advance of her party, but waited until they, and the portly gentleman in the wagon had rolled to a stop before she entered. Truth, she had little natural inclination to, a thief and cutthroat at heart, but then, she had little natural inclination to be murdered in her sleep, either.
It does not take her long to decide to follow the others. However, rather than simply pay for a room, Kari sets herself up in the midst of the common room and surveys its occupants for a time. Before her she set several silver that could be used to buy ale or food, should she be bothered by the wait staff while she observes.
Assuming nothing happens during the evening, Aedon rises early the next morning to find a horse and a mule for purchase.
After buying the animals, he returns to Nel's for a quick morning meal.
To Kari, "There is a mule outside that needs a caring hand and a good name. Can you provide both during our journey?"
Aedon also finds Salvator, "I've got an extra horse outside that could use a rider. He's gentle enough, so you don't need to be a great rider, just don't try anything too exciting."
Salvator looked down for a moment, contemplating his response, before taking a level gaze at Aedon's eyes.
"For all your friendly overtures and young looks, you don't seem to take no for an answer. Fair enough, I'll accede this time, seeing you've only done me a favor. Still, I don't like to be coerced."
Aedon allows a small smile to appear, "I'll happily take no for an answer, provided it's in my best interest. And you don't seem like the kind of man I would attempt to coerce."
The younger man looks out a nearby window as he continues, "I am smart enough to know that I do not have the breadth of worldly experience that the rest of the group appears to have."
Looking back at Salvator with a smirk, "But I do have a few talents, and one of those is an education in business and investing. In this case, having a mount for everyone in our group is a good investment. No subtle messages, no hidden agenda, just good business."
Clapping his hands together, Aedon takes on a more casual tone, "Enough about that, what do you think our group should be called?"
Lyster, having followed the group for most of the ride and having rested by himself in his tent, raises himself sleepily from his sleep, scratching his beard with an air of content.
"Mighty fine morning."
He looks around for something, anything to do.
Hearing the words "what should our group be called" he laughs out loud. "I say the Companions is fine. We don't need somethin' complicated."
I'm assuming Lyster is close enough to be seen/heard
"Good morning, Lyster. Slept well, I hope?"
Facing the older man, Aedon continues in a conspiratorial voice, "Really now, just 'the Companions'? That's just a group of friends. We're a diverse band of men and women... and gnomes... We have a noble purpose, a tough job to do, in a lawless land, with little support from our employer. And the best we can call ourselves is 'the Companions'?
Aedon shakes his head as he smiles, "Lyster, I hear you, nothing complicated. But what about another word, just one word, that gives our ragtag crew some identity beyond 'a group of acquanitances'?"
"Perhaps because some of us recognize that, for the moment, 'a group of acquaintances' is what we are." Rufus interjects, leading Twinkle & Boon behind him.
Gods I grow weary of this song from him!
"Study your history. You wish us to have a name to resound in the minds & mouths of common folk & aristocrat alike? Well, the common folk care about food enough to feed themselves & their families, shelter to keep safe & hale; not whether or not a handful of violent trouble makers has a 'name that strikes just the right tone'. As for the aristocracy, I'll tell you what they will call us, will we or no. Expendable!"
Rufus is pacing so vigorously he is almost marching. "Study your history. All those 'Adventuring Companies' with the grand names are one of two things: little more than a mercenary band, usually named after the leader or founder if they managed to survive their original leader; or they took their name after they actually made something of themselves!"
Crossing his fists behind his back, Rufus stops before Aedon, leaning in towards the more lightly built man. "If it is your intent to assert leadership over our company, state so plain & give reasons why we should agree. Otherwise..." At that, Rufus steps back, as if realizing for the first time their proximity. Turning, pensively he adds. "Otherwise, give us the time to do just that. Make a name for ourselves."
|Kari of the Wylds|
Okie, rather than just lurk I'll drop something by
Kari does not appear to be a morning person, or, if one is close enough to observe such things, there was a red tint to her eyes and a large mark on her cheek that would indicate that she has not slept in a bed, or anything near continuously. She sways a bit as she regards her mule, peeking beneath its hindquarters for its sex, a male, then begins stroking the gray's muzzle affectionately. Her words, however are less than pleasant, and while guttural, the language she employs does bear distinct tones of being almost... musical.
"Aye, only the best of lads for Kari Cat's Heat, hmm? Cock, mead, @ss and all."
Kari pinches the mules ears and tries to ignore Aedon's renewed talk of naming their band. She believed she had dispelled such silly notions the day previous with her 'lads' comment, but it appears that someone has delusions of grandeur. And curiously, if her ears do not deceive her, it is not Rufus.
"Aye, the brilliant youth has the right of it," Kari adds, nuzzling her new mule's nose while she scratches between his eyes. She is too hung over to practice her cant, but not too tired to obfuscate. "Pan here would agree with me as well," she continues.
Kari turns and takes a hold of Pan's mane to steady herself, then pats his thick neck. "Is just as like the folk we will displace will call us bandits, lest we prove ourselves otherwise. Sent on a Lord's errand to claim their lands as his?" she shakes her head. "Nay, do not aggrandize what we are. Thieves and whores, the lot of us, mewling to suckle at noble teat."
Hope you don't mind me describing my brand new mule :P I do intend to pay you back.
Aren't we getting a little ahead of the DM?
"You are perhaps a whore madam, but some of us have finer breeding."
Gizsmith steps blearily out into the morning light, having been up late entertaining the locals with his tales (Perform(oration): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15.) His beard this morning is now a deep blue (Prestidigitation)
"I tire of arguing the merits of having a recognizable title for our merry band of misfits. Since we cannot agree on something as simple as a name, I suggest we find someone with the authority to write up a legal charter for our partnership, before we must do something truly challenging, such as divvying up booty."
Points finger at Aedon. "He started it!"
Rapidly spinning 'round to the diminutive popinjay, Rufus thrusts an index finger directly at Gizsmith's nose. "Until now, no names were called among us, don't start! You tire of this argument? The rest of us tired of it the second time the two of you brought it up! Challenging? We all already agreed to an equal division of 'booty'."
"I say we simply wait for inspiration to hit us then. No sense naming ourselves now, with the only achievement being corpse recovery and removal. Unless you want us to be known as the Undertakers let's focus on more serious matters."
Aedon seems surprised at Rufus' and Kari's words. His expression becomes even more incredulous as Gizsmith's new blue beard appears.
He quickly shakes his head as if to clear his vision, then looks up, "We're out here, heading to some forgotten trading post to fight Abadar knows how many bandits, and this is what happens for asking a question! And me, getting accused of wanting to be leader, even though I'm the one who suggested we treat each other as equals? Did somebody put something in the ale last night?"
"I agree with Lyster, time to move on. Look, those of you who don't want us to have a name, then that's fine. Don't worry about it then. Just forget all about it. Gizsmith and I will just deal with it ourselves and stop bothering anybody else. Everyone else can just go about their business. There we go, issue solved."
Aedon looks over at Kari, "Pan, really?" He moves toward her and starts petting the mule. Turning back, he gestures toward Rufus as he accosts Gizsmith, "So what do you think, Kari? Size issues?"
@ Kari: no problem at all, enjoy the mule :) Aedon won't take your money though
@ Rufus: I did not! stamping my feet
@ Gizsmith: I hope not, just trying to roleplay a bit
good morning to all, and a good weekend as well!
Recapping, it looks like Aedon bought two animals early in the morning, and unless he brought them into the inn, kari's comments would have been made outside, so gizsmith, rufus, and lyster also went outside so that Kari's comment could be heard and responded to by the others.
The small village has been bustling since dawn with many of the men and boys headed for the fields or working on tasks around the village. The smell of baking bread is ripe upon the morning breeze.
One matronly mother does approach your group during its lively discussion of names and asks "we don't care what you call yerselves, jest so's you do it on the road, be there anything ye be needing before ye leave?"
|Kari of the Wylds|
Kari untrained Diplomacy (Gather Information) 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
If Kari is bothered by being called a whore by Gizsmith, she does not display any expression of the sort. She listens to the men argue about names and booty and considers how naming their group is the least of their problems at this moment. When Aedon comes round to pet the equine flesh he purchased for her she smiles and tips the plait of hair with the most feral trophies back towards her ear.
"Aye, Pan," she repeats, and points to the large animal's shoulders and joints. "He's built like one, no? Solid, and useful for a wide array of purposes, including drafting should it be required."
Kari's eyes move swiftly to the matron when she approaches, the amber in them gleaming like gold in the soft light of the morning. "Goodwife, I require a bit and a saddle for my noble steed. Feed as well. Know ye a fair stable hand that will outfit me?"
After acquiring the particulars, Kari will be ready to head out :)
Diplomacy: Gather Info 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14,
"No. Thank you for your hospitality, and your patience."
Apparently I forgot to purchase bit & bridle as well, so I will be.
Meant to provide saddle, bridle, etc for the new horse and mule but going with it... maybe Kari wanted a different style? Salvator has them on his horse.
Diplomacy 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
"Yes, good woman, many thanks. Fare well!" Aedon bows to the woman then turns his attention to his animals as he finalizes preparations for the upcoming journey.
PC arguments are fun;) Diplomancy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Gizsmith turns to Rufus, all wide-eyed innocence:
"If you recall, Kari called us all 'whores and thieves', I was just defending my honor. As for dividing the spoils, we had a gentleman's agreement, but " he leans forward conspiratorially, dropping his voice to a loud whisper, " I do not think we are all gentlemen."
Turning to Lyster:
"Ooooo, 'The Undertakers', ominous. A little dark for my taste, but it does have a certain ring to it. My desire for name for our band, comes from a professional standpoint, I intend to weave great epics of our exploits, a good group name makes for a snappier tale. Much more so than the 'Fantastical Adventures of Gizsmith, Kari, Rufus, Aedon, Salvador, and Lyster."
He then takes a minute and a few castings of Pretidigitation to turn his pony bright yellow.
|Kari of the Wylds|
Ah, sorry about that Aedon, when someone goes "here have mount" I don't typically assume it has all the bells and whistles attached.
And diplomacy doesn't work against PCs. I'd say that the roll would make your attitude seem peachy keen, though. :P
Glizsmith's liberal use of minor magics causes Kari's nose to twitch. His flamboyant behavior marked him as someone who was aching for an arrow in his back. Not from her, mind, but the lack of armor and his oppressive personality scream that he is some manner of mage... traveling on a bright yellow pony?
Ah yes, which one of the groups were you lucky enough to see traveling south, Goodwife? Oh, the tramps with the bright yellow pony? Yes, we would not worry about them. Professionals, each and every one.
Kari is tempted to sneer an epithet at Gizsmith alone, but holds her tongue. It is only the second day, she tells herself.
"Beatings will continue until morale improves."
Kari sighs in her musical language and pats Pan's thick neck again.
"Come on then, no reason to be idle."
I am assuming the Diplomacy rolls were for the information gathering.
"Yes, she called us all 'whores & thieves'. No one of us was singled out. You singled her out."
Checking the saddle on Twinkle & calming Boon as Gizsmith turns to Lyster, Rufus interjects. "You said it yourself Gizsmith, until we've had exploits worth the telling, there is no point in worrying about what we're called. Now how about we leave these good people in peace?" With that, Rufus leads Twinkle & Boon West, along the road towards Fort Seranko.
Lyster seems content enough to wave a hand of thanks to the matron before mounting Everswift.
It does appear I'll be in fine company.
Deciding that silence is perhaps the key here, he simply follows Rufus and rides over to him so he can whisper into his ear.
Aedon watches Rufus continue to blather at Gizsmith, then abruptly ride up the road, Lyster following close behind.
Placing bets a bit early
Aedon reins his horse in beside Gizsmith, "So..."
Aedon makes a big show of looking over Gizsmith's pony. Satisfied, he sits up straight and gives the pony a mock salute, right fist over heart. Looking at the gnome, the half-elf grins, "I'm thinking Company of the Golden Horse."
Rufus had it, Diplomacy was for Gather Info, sorry for any confusion
Rufus didn't start riding Twinkle until out of town, or once everyone else was, whichever came first.
"Ha!" Rufus bellows in response to Lyster's whispered comment.
|Kari of the Wylds|
Yeah, I get confus-ed sometimes. I am only human.
After securing a bit and saddle for Pan, Kari, displaying only natural agility, scrambles atop the massive gray, leaning over him so that her belly is as concave as one can make oneself in leather armor over the saddle horn, gripping his neck.
"Witness Nivakta's greatest rider," Kari grumbles and pulls herself into a proper seated position.
Her band had few large animals, preferring to remain foot mobile. Speed was not the element in the Gronzi, but being tracked by the Medvyed's skilled rangers. Kari has a natural affinity for animals, evidenced in the trophies she wears in her hair, but she appears to be taking to riding as well a fish might. For the life of her she cannot see how any could jest that having experience in riding a man would translate to an animal three times the average man's size with no discernible language or reasoning skills. Men might well be silly and perhaps look cross-eyed if a simple argument did not agree with their priorities, but at least they understood intent. The beast beneath her... likely could not understand Giant, for one, but, for another made her feel... tall.
Kari glances about at the more experienced riders as they start forward, and imitates their posture. She has no illusions that her buttocks will survive this experiment. Her hips and breasts were flat enough without losing any semblance of curvature in her posterior.
Gizsmith smiles at Aedon's quip. "Golden Pony, my friend, Golden Pony. At least for the next hour or so, after that who knows. At least someone the appropriate sense of adventure. I feel we are going to get along swimmingly."
He leans over to Kari as they head out.
|Kari of the Wylds|
Kari tilts her head, regarding the bright yellow pony and giggles.
"Quoth the mage who has managed to fit a bridle upon a lemon."
"Our perspectives are not congruous. That is what distinguishes us as a party, and not a band," she continues and shifts in her seat. "If you will excuse me, myself and my noble stallion shall range ahead."
And now that we have that dynamic of the group settled down...
Your trip is rather uneventful throughout the day. There is considerably less travel on the road, as you have seen but one Brevoy messenger that didn't bother to stop as he rode past you headed west.
Fort Serenko is a small wooden fort. Visitors are not allowed to bunk within it's walls under normal circumstances. fortunately, due to the traffic that passes along the road, there is a tavern and inn with a stable yard on the road.
Unless anyone has a pressing reason to stop and hang out at Fort Serenko, we can move on with your traveling to Oleg's Outpost.
Meanwhile, during the semi-large spat, Salvator had been hopelessly trying to become accustomed to riding a horse. Even if the horse was far more than capable of bearing him forward, Salvator's own nervousness and overcompensation to every shift of the horse, despite all of his physical aptitude.
Thus, he had little idea such harsh words had transpired between the party.
Yeah, I'm good with that. Sorry about the away, had to whip up a level 11 adventure for my real life group.
|Kari of the Wylds|
Kari will ask Rufus and Aedon to demonstrate how to take care of her new mount when they arrive at the stables, and probably spend quite a while grooming Pan before she retires.
I will not disagree with group consensus. To Oleg's - And Beyond!
You know what they don't have in the Core equipment list? A currying brush. How are we supposed to groom our mounts without a currying brush?
As there is no skill check to grooming a horse I suspect Rufus can show Kari how to do so with little difficulty.
The trip along the South Rostland Road has been quiet and uneventful. The rolling grassland of the plains is deceptive as the road rises and dips. About half way from Fort Serenko to Oleg's, the short-grass prairie changes to a long-grass prairie.
The edges of the road seem nearly like a wall with grasses reaching 8-9' in height in some places, though most of what you can see appears to be about six and a half feet high. From the backs of the horses, you are just high enough to be able to see wind rippling across the wide expanse. It would be easy to pass an entire army hidden by a gentle swell of land. Fortunately, the nations of the area, such as they are, have been quieted any ideas of imperialism.
Your first evening was spent in a small copse of trees growing in a clump near a small stream that traversed across the road. The weather has been pleasant, with brilliant blue skies, a significant contrast to the cold snap you left but a few days before.
Cresting one of those endless rolling hills, you can see a fortified structure topping the crest of a hill. The road travels along in front of the structure before gently turning north.
During your approach it becomes evident that the grasses have been cut back in a rough circle around the fort. A couple of cows are seen on long leads cropping at the edge of the cleared area, slowly chewing on the tall-grass.
The fortified structure is a square, each corner standing some 20 plus feet above the ground with a shorter wall half as high between them. The walls and corner towers are made of wooden posts buried upright. It looks like each tower has a siege engine emplaced. A thin wisp of smoke rises from inside the fort. Sounds of hammering are at first feint, but grow louder during your approach.
The front gates hang open and inviting. The smell of fresh baked bread catches your attention as you stand before the gates peering into the courtyard. Several buildings are visible within the fort and the hammering is coming from the east(right) side.
You have arrived at Oleg's Trading Post.
both links seem to take me to the Campaign info page.
Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14, to asses the state of the trading post. Specifically, Rufus is looking either for signs of attack on the walls & other places; or signs of ambush from within the Post. We were told there were bandits, Rufus is looking for indications of them. Also, did he manage to get the Flag? If so, he has it unfurled & held in his off (right) hand, the butt of the staff wedged in the socket in his right stirrup; otherwise he just has his sword ready to draw from it's sheath.
"Hail the Post! We've come from Restov, looking for Oleg!"
Handle Animal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15, to sign to Boon to attack if I charge on Twinkle.
Sotto Vocce to the others. "Given there seemed to be bandit agents in Restov, there is a possibility this is a trap. We should be on our guard."
Lyster calmly rides in alongside Aedon, seeming to have not a care in the world, all the while drawing his heavy crossbow and loading a bolt.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12 to get a good look around the fort as well.
Gizsmith rolls his eyes at Rufus. He doesn't ready a weapon, but does pull his pony up short.
"I think you have it. The dastardly sneak thieves must have seen our approach and started baking bread to lure us in with its deliciousness."
|Kari of the Wylds|
Salvator gets off his mount, taking the reins with one hand.
~The others seem to be drawing weapons, but I'm not sure which weapon I'd need yet. Best keep open eyes and palms then.~
So, he went ahead and took a look with the others.
Go ahead and use one of my saved perception checks. I like being surprised. :P
Originating as a border fort, it was poorly placed, poorly manned, and wouldn't have been more than a trip wire.
As Oleg's Trading Post, it'll keep most wild animals at bay, and with a few guards would handle some of the two-legged variety as well.
The hammering stops suddenly with Rufus' hail. Some of you hear feint muttering as a tall middle-aged human, rounds the corner, "Oi! Mikhail? You know damn well where to keep..." He stops and stares at you, giving each of you a quick one over before harrumphing and wiping his hands on a stained towel slung over one shoulder. "Not Mikhail then. Well? What do you want?"
"Now, now dear, be nice to our guests. These are obviously the people that courier mentioned, they're gonna help us honey-bunny." this last said by a striking young woman with raven black hair down to her waist coming out of a building in the northeast corner of the post. The smoke is coming from a chimney of the building. She walks up the the man and places a calming hand on his arm, "Blessings fine folk, and welcome to Oleg's Trading Post. I am Svetlana, and this is Oleg, of the Levetons." She pats his arm with affection, and you can see that his gruff demeanor softens, almost.
[b]"Meh, they look to scrawny to be a Brevoyan patrol."
Looking about the fort you recognize a stable taking up most of the western side of the enclosed area with two buidings on the east side. A couple of large tables with a fire between them is centered on the eastern side. You can see what looks like a portable forge near he fire, and several tools laid out on one of the tables.
For those that made a DC 12 perception (including Salvator), there are three faded pieces of parchment tacked up to the wall of the stable, on the far side of the door.
Rufus, since you are not an official representative of Brevoy, the flag you acquired is smaller and does not have the same border as that used by the Brevoy government and military.
Hey, it's a flag.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23, still not convinced this isn't a Bandit trick.
"We are not a patrol, however we were informed of Bandit activity in the area. We were hoping you would have more information for us."
Gizsmith hops down from his pony, leading it and his pack mule into the fort.
He doffs his hat and bows extravagantly.
"Greetings and well met. I am Gizsmith Glitterbyte, gentleman adventurer(usual Prestidigitation aided flourish). Me and this motley assemblage have been commissioned by the swordlords of Restov to survey the region south of your fine establishment, ostensibly to stamp out banditry and prepare it for settlement, but that is a worry for tomorrow. Today, I find myself in need of stabling for my fine animals, a comfortable room for the night and perhaps some of that delectable bread I smell."
|Kari of the Wylds|
When her ranging turns up no results, Kari returns to the gates and dismounts Pan. She gives his joints a once over, and sets him to grazing after pouring some oats down for a snack.
Entering the fort, Kari gives the young woman with the dark hair the full weight of the appraising glance the only other female present can. Seeing that Gizsmith clearly has the way of speaking at the pair, she climbs up upon the battlements, to get a clearer view of the field.